Faith leaders and community gather for Duluth Earth Day Forum

On April 28th, MNIPL’s Lake Superior Network joined with the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum and Temple Israel of Duluth to co-host an Earth Day Interfaith forum called Climate, Spirit, and Change. The event drew about 60 participants for food, fellowship, and a lively moderated discussion among nine local faith and spiritual leaders about the significance of the natural world and faith responses to the environmental justice challenges we face.

Rev. Bruce Johnson of Unitarian Universalist Congregation moderated the panel, which featured local faith leaders Rabbi David Steinberg (Temple Israel), Rev. David Carlson (Gloria Dei Lutheran), Lyz Jaakola & Ricky W, DeFoe, Gwiiwizens (Anishinaabe community), Father James Kinney (NW WI parishes), Sister Lois Eckes (St. Scholastic Monastery) & Dr. Kevin Vaughan (CSS Catholic Studies), Rev. Sarah Lawton (Hope United Methodist), and Dr. Ahmed Maamoun (Islamic Center of the Twin Ports).

They discussed both the challenges of highlighting topics such as climate change, and the critical importance of institutions of the spirit to do so and to further be agents of positive change. After audience questions and further discussion, participants left with hope and yes, resolution, to reengage on issues such as climate change. MNIPL extends warm appreciation to the audience participants, our panelists and our event partners for continuing to advance the issue of environmental justice in the great NorthWoods!